February 14, 2024

Marriage Registration in Thailand

Depending on your country of origin, there are different requirements for Marriage Registration in Thailand. It is best to check with your embassy for details.

The first requirement is to get an 'Affirmation of Freedom to marry'. The format of this document can vary from one embassy to another. Once obtained, this must be translated into Thai by a translation office.

Documents required

All documents must be originals and notarized. They also must be accompanied by a certified translation into Thai (the embassy will not do this for you). In addition, both parties must give their consent verbally in the presence of a notary public.

Both foreigners must get a document called an affirmation of freedom to marry from their home country's embassy in Bangkok. Embassies will each have their own requirements so it is important to contact them before you arrive in Thailand.

The Affirmation of Freedom to Marry is required for all marriages in Thailand and is a confirmation that you are free to marry under Thai law. It is normally signed by the consular officer of your country's embassy in Thailand and countersigned by them.

Affirmation of freedom to marry

You and your partner should appear in person with your respective passports at the Embassy to complete declarations stating that you are free to marry under Thai law. Embassies may require additional documentation, such as previous divorce or death certificates or other documents specific to your country of origin.

These documents are then translated into Thai (by a reputable translation service) and legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They are then submitted to the local district office, known as an amphur or khet, for registration.

Once the affirmation of freedom to marry has been registered, a marriage certificate will be issued. This marriage is then legally binding in Thailand. De-facto informal and common-law marriages are not recognized under Thai law. Only officially registered marriages are recognised.

Thai translation

A foreigner who wants to get married in Thailand must first obtain an affidavit stating that they are free to marry from their respective embassies. This is done to protect the interests of the couple, especially if they have significant assets. Once the document is translated into Thai, it must be filed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

After completing the above steps, a non-Thai may take their documents to the local district office or “Amphur” for registration. The marriage is recorded in the government registry and a certificate of marriage is issued to both parties.

It is important to note that same-sex couples can also register their marriage in Thailand, a progressive step that may lead to its legalization in 2024. It is however, a good idea to seek legal assistance for this process.

Submission to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In order to register a marriage, both spouses must present themselves at the district office together with two witnesses. It is important that all documents are prepared properly, as even the slightest error can result in your registration being rejected.

If you are a foreigner, it is recommended that you go to your home country’s embassy or consulate in Thailand for more details. Getting the documents translated from your native language will also be necessary.

It is also advisable to register your prenuptial agreement during the same visit, so that you can handle the division of assets in accordance with Thai law. This will ensure that your marriage is legally binding both in Thailand and in your home country. This will also prevent the possibility of being compelled to divorce by your local courts.

Legalization

When you’re ready to register your marriage in Thailand, you have to take your certified passport and the Affirmation of Freedom to Marry to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get them legalized. This process usually takes more than one day to complete.

Then, you can bring the verified documents to your local district office called the “Amphur” or “Khet” to complete your marriage registration. Both parties must publicly give their consent to marry each other before the registrar.

This process can be complex, especially for some countries that require additional documents that cannot be obtained at your embassy. It may be wise to hire a professional service to assist you with the paperwork. They can help you prepare the necessary documents and translate them into Thai.

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